Better Goalie Edge: Take Canadiens as the NHL Pick Over Bruins

Bruce Webster

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 1:03 PM GMT

The Boston Bruins come in off a tough loss to the Nashville Predators at home, while the Montreal Canadiens have also lost three of their last four games. Who will be our NHL pick here?

Offense Fails in Loss to Nashville
The Bruins have had very few scoring issues this year, especially at home, but their offense let them down in their 3-2 home loss to Nashville on Monday night. The Bruins just had a bad night overall as they got off just 17 shots in the game, which is very odd for this team that ranks 8th in the league in shots per game. They did hit one of three on the power play, which keeps them in line with their top ranked power play in the league. Scoring for Boston was Kevan Miller (2nd) and Loui Eriksson (10th).  

The Bruins come in ranked 3rd in the league in scoring, putting up 3.3 gpg, while their defense, which was one of the worst in the league earlier in the year, is now ranked 22nd in the league in goals allowed, giving up 2.8 gpg, while on the penalty kill they are 23rd. Jonas Gustavsson took the loss for Boston on Monday night and is now 5-2 with a 2.57 GAA on the year. Tuukka Rask should be in goal for this one and is 9-10 with a 2.72 GAA on the year, while vs the Canadiens he has gone 3-17 with a 2.74 GAA.

   

Canadiens Looking for Their Offense
The Montreal Canadiens come having lost three of their last four games and have scored just two goals in each of those games. This is a team that comes in ranked 2nd in the league in scoring, putting up 3.3 gpg on the year, but has only been able to manage eight total goals in their last four games. Their last game was at Carolina and they were able to get off 38 shots in the game but could just score twice in the 3-2 loss in OT. One of the goals scored was by Daniel Carr, who was making his first ever start in the NHL. 

Taking the loss vs Carolina was Mike Condone, who continues to get playing time thanks to Carey Price’s injury. Condon is now 2-3 in his last five starts and is 9-7 with a 2.22 GAA on the year. He should get the start here as well and he has one start vs Boston this year, which he won by a 4-2 score at home back in November. Montreal has been a strong defensive squad this year as they have allowed just 2.2 gpg, which is 4th in the league. Special teams have also been key for the Habs as they rank 5th in power play conversions (22.2%) and 2nd in penalty kill (86.3%).

 

Trends
Boston is:

3-9 in their last 12 after scoring two goals or less in their previous game.

5-16 in the last 21 games in the series.

Montreal is:

12-4 in their last 16 games playing on three or more days rest.

48-23 in their last 71 vs. Atlantic.

The Canadiens are the NHL pick here, but it will be a lesser play if Rask is not in goal for this one as he has really struggled with the Habs, going 3-14 vs them in his career. The Bruins have been a stronger team on the road than at home this year, but I still feel that the Canadiens are the better team, with the better goalie and should walk away with a solid win in this one. Against the NHL odds take Montreal tonight.

NHL Pick: Canadiens -125 at Heritage

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